Right off the bat, let me say that the word athlete originates from ancient Greece and in its original form, referred to a person competing for a prize. Therefore, esports players competing to win a prize do qualify as athletes. The market for esport athletes has grown in tandem with eSports as a whole. The athletes play solo or within a team depending on the game. Furthermore, they play one specific game or multiple games in one specific game genre. For instance, Dominique McLean, alias Sonic Fox, competes in multiple fighting games like Injustice: Gods Among Us and the Mortal Kombat Series. The eSports market is wildly profitable with some athletes earning upwards of US$3Million and the teams earning up to US$24 Million
In East Africa, we have reputable esports organizations such as Simba Ultimate Esports, The Watchmen and Masters Of Mayhem that have recruited players in various select game esport genres such Call Of Duty, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, CSGO, FIFA, Tekken, Mortal Kombat etc
Currently, we have Simba Ultimate Esports that just successfully established itself as a household name with a very strong presence within the East African region and African continent. It hails from Kenya and has recruited players from various countries in Africa such as Zambia and South Africa. It’s most prestigious title presence include its feat of winning 3rd place at the CTS 2019 Showdown when its Tekken pro player DarkTempest took the event by storm being the only player to represent Kenya and the whole region in a South African dominated event of 131 participants. DarkTempest and the Simba Ultimate esports organization really put Tekken esports on the map and Kenya a country to watch in the Tekken Africa community. They also participated in the Mettlestate 2020 Major when their Rainbow Six esports team participated in the event also establishing a presence in the scene and making their name known well there as well. The current team is composition is on their team website.
Another one is Call of Duty which has a couple of teams from Kenya that participate in the sport. At last year’s PSG Elite tournament held at NAICCON, The Watchmen esports team took the trophy. The team consists of the following athletes: Hirsi Ali, Tej, Shahim Ali, Fahad Vayani and Suhail Woods. Aside from them, we also have Meta KE, Tex Clan and Toxic, all teams who also participated in the aforementioned tournament.
The fighting game league is also vibrant within the region with games like Tekken and Mortal Kombat being played. Tekken especially has a lot of players to its name. Most noticeable are DVK, DarkTempest, PR1EST, XiTQueenArrow, Frost, Shoryuken, Stanley Styler and Mickey. All of whom took part in last year’s televised Africa esports Championship. Mortal Kombat has players like Aryba Stacks (reigning champion of Mortal Kombat) , MOM| Kamsville and Bilal Mwiti as their stellar athletes.
On the FIFA side, we have a number of athletes who stand out, specifically, with the recently concluded season of the PSG FIFA FAN FEST, we had a lot of names put up on the board like Neutri, Mauwano, Azbak, the current FFF champion and his adversary Collins Oyindo. We also have Aziz, the 2015 FIFA world champion.
It should be noted that esports athletes devote a lot of time into their craft. In a 2019 interview with a member of the Watchmen Call of Duty team, they said that they would spend up to 8 hours a day practicing in preparation for the PSG Elite tournament. It then comes as no surprise that they won that tournament. Care to try your luck at a career in esports? Well, participate in our multiple tournaments. Check out our social media to be informed about the latest tournament.